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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Attempts at aging Oolong tea.

I'll say right away that this post does not contain any tasting notes, but instead it is what I am doing in the way of aging oolong tea. I have close to 1Kg of oolong that I am storing to see what will happen over time, and they are in a sense testing different storage methods.

First is I have a little Chinese jar that I enclosed some wuyi that I felt the roast was just to much on, as it tasted quite like ash. In all honesty I have little hope for this, and I'm probably going to give it a taste sometime in the next 2 months or so. But this I did not aquire to age, this I aquired then thought it could use age.

Next is rather ambitious, and possibly going to be a huge failure. At a Chinese market I picked up 300g of Dong ding, which I got cause it was in expensive. Made some in a gaiwan, and said "Way to green!" So the easiest way to ungreen an oolong in taste is in my mind to age it, maybe not the quickest but the easiest. This is the tea that actually inspired me to write this post, as while I have not tired it since I first got it about 6 months ago, I did today realize that it was rather dry today, so I decided to do some up keep on the tea. So I "roasted it" quotations as when a tea is roasted in its traditional preparation it involves being roasted over wood or charcoal, something which imparts flavor as well as giving the effect of removing moisture. This I simply had it in a clean fry pan, over my electric hot plate on low, for nearly two hours, and of course stirring often. I stopped when picking up tea with my fingers it no longer felt slightly moist. I feel this is a necessary step when aging oolong especially green oolong in a poorly sealed container as otherwise moisture can get in an essentially ruin the tea, by making it excessively sour.

Another tea I have is rather a vain attempt to try and produce something of the quality of the Shui Xian bricks that the Tea Gallery had dating from 1997. I managed to pick up some 2007 DHP bricks, and I've been keeping them, and I can only hope it works out well.

I also am aging some already aged teas to see if they improve, these are sealed in individual foil packets, and it should be interesting to see how they handle being stored in those over time.

So I will try and keep you informed on these teas as I get around to tasting them when I think they are ready. At least two of them I will probably get around to trying in the next month or so, while at least one of them I probably will not write about for another year as I just placed those into storage.
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